In Sri Lanka women often hold a lower status in the society and family as well. Their part is to care about the children and the household while the husband is going to work as sole wage earner. But often one income is not enough.
Low income families and women, which live under poor conditions need support, a chance to overcome these situations and become less dependent of the sole financial income of the husbands.
Therefore, a Women’s Unit has been build, to provide these women a possibility for education, vocational training and self-help with the generation of an additional income. Furthermore, the centre is a place to meet and to exchange with or learn from each other and to get support with problems.
In 2012 the Women’s Unit could be built as attachment to the educational centre EDC in cooperation with the German partner organisation LOTUS international e.V., funded by Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken, Germany.
The new centre opened in April 2014 and started with a basic sewing course for about 40 local women.
In 2014 the Women’s Unit was able to increase its development significantly – with four vocational training courses, the use of solar energy and alternative production material, the construction of the Tailoring Unit and the registration of the sewing course for NVQ level from the TEVC institute. Which could be realised only with help of the partner organisation LOTUS and the financial support of the Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken in Germany and the Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka.
The vocational training in the EDC Women's Unit provides education and skills development to unprivileged local women free of charge. After 6 month of training they are able to work independently. Through the purchase of their products, they have the opportunity to earn money for their families and enhance the quality of their livelihood. Hereby the women are able to work part time in the Tailoring Unit of the Centre or independently.
Additionally, the EDC Women’s Unit develops community work and women empowerment to improve self-confidence and commitment of the local women.
Together with the Lankalike Fairtrade Cooperation the NVA produces their local products in the Women’s Unit under the name "LankaLIKE".
Most of the articles that we have designed are for the local market e.g. cotton bags for hotels, but we are also planning to make clothes e.g. for women and children - the Sri Lankan style, in a different and nature friendly way. We can offer sewing’s, wool knitting products and batik - mainly with cotton material, but also handloom fabric.
Since one year the NVA produces for the german brand COLOMBO3, products for the FAIR TRADE market.
More information about the LankaLIKE production and products on following homepage: www.lankalike.com